Crashes happen. No matter how prudent, protected, and careful we are, things happen, whether it involves other vehicles or not. Like with any road incident, the sooner the emergency services get on-site to assess the situation, the better. When you’re in the city, there are usually witnesses and people around you that will make that phone call if you’re unable to.
Not all crashes happen in the city before hundreds of eyes, however; some crashes happen in the middle of nowhere. Motorcycle riders are particularly at risk as we tend to seek out the best riding roads that are often the most secluded ones. All it takes is a mistake, a slide into a bush on the side of the road while nobody is around and you have the recipe for those horror stories about downed riders waiting for hours to be rescued. Nobody knows anything happened.
French startup Kosmos Smart Helmets (KSH) wants to tackle that issue head-on thanks to a able to detect a fall and make what could be a life-saving call. The owner can pair their smartphone with their KSH via Bluetooth using the proprietary app. Through the app, the rider can enter their health information and up to five emergency contacts. Should the rider fall while wearing the helmet, sensors inside the lid will detect that there’s been a crash. The system will first address the rider directly to determine whether they need the intervention of the emergency services and if they’re able to make the call on their own—think of it as a concerned Alexa.
If the rider doesn’t answer, the system automatically sends an emergency message with a location and the rider’s health information to the preset contacts. These people can then contact the emergency services with that information to make sure they intervene sooner rather than later.
In addition to the smart emergency intervention system, the KSH also features a set of integrated lighting for added safety. It includes a set of LED lights on the sides for additional visibility and a brake light at the base of the helmet, at the back. Using an accelerometer, the helmet can detect when the rider is braking and light up the brake light to make the maneuver even more obvious to other road users. Because it can be paired with a smartphone, the KSH also features voice commands, navigation instructions, and call management.
KSH founder Kevin Ravi explains that the current prototype—a three-quarter helmet—caters more to an audience of urban riders. He adds, however, that should the project be successful, his team eventually plans to develop a full-face, travel-friendly helmet as well.
The helmet was first shown at CES back in January 2020 and should the development go according to plan, the KSH could become available as early as in 2021.